Note: this post was originally made in 2010 in response to Diana Gabaldon’s epic rant about fanfiction. The original version is still being updated. I’m reposting it to Tumblr by request, but if you have any additions, please feel free to drop a comment at LJ so they can be added to the masterpost!
Dear Author of the Week,
You think fanfic is a personal affront to the many hours you’ve spent carefully crafting your characters. You think fanfic is “immoral and illegal.” You think fanfiction is just plagiarism. You think fanfiction is cheating. You think fanfic is for people who are too stupid/lazy/unimaginative to write stories of their own. You think there are exceptions for people who write published derivative works as part of a brand or franchise, because they’re clearly only doing it because they have to. You’re personally traumatized by the idea that someone else could look at your characters and decide that you did it wrong and they need to fix it/add original characters to your universe/send your characters to the moon/Japan/their hometown. You think all fanfic is basically porn. You’re revolted by the very idea that fic writers think what they do is legitimate.
We get it.
Congratulations! You’ve just summarily dismissed as criminal, immoral, and unimaginative each of the following Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and works:
I want a movie about greek gods where hades isn’t the antagonist
By all accounts the antagonist in every Greek Gods movie should be Zeus’s dick. Nothing else causes as much murder and mayhem.
She had curves in all the wrong places. She had a boob sticking out of her kneecap and I’d never seen an ass on the back of someone’s head before
She had legs that went on forever. And ever, and ever. Legs going on into the endless primordial void from which we all came from and to which we shall all return. Her toes touched infinity, her hips perched on the cessation of existence.
He is here, come down to look for you.
It is the song that calls you back,
a song of joy and suffering
equally: a promise:
that things will be different up there
than they were last time.
You would rather have gone on feeling nothing,
emptiness and silence; the stagnant peace
of the deepest sea, which is easier
than the noise and flesh of the surface.
You are used to these blanched dim corridors,
you are used to the king
who passes you without speaking.
The other one is different
and you almost remember him.
He says he is singing to you
because he loves you,
not as you are now,
so chilled and minimal: moving and still
both, like a white curtain blowing
in the draft from a half-opened window
beside a chair on which nobody sits.
He wants you to be what he calls real.
He wants you to stop light.
He wants to feel himself thickening
like a treetrunk or a haunch
and see blood on his eyelids
when he closes them, and the sun beating.
This love of his is not something
he can do if you aren’t there,
but what you knew suddenly as you left your body
cooling and whitening on the lawn
was that you love him anywhere,
even in this land of no memory,
even in this domain of hunger.
You hold love in your hand, a red seed
you had forgotten you were holding.
He has come almost too far.
He cannot believe without seeing,
and it’s dark here.
Go back, you whisper,
but he wants to be fed again
by you. O handful of gauze, little
bandage, handful of cold
air, it is not through him
you will get your freedom.